Turkmenistan Eyes the Eurasian Economic Union

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

  • Turkmenistan possesses the worlds 4th largest LNG reserves
  • Improving infrastructure and ports indicate the possibility of joining a free trade bloc for the first time

The Eurasian Economic Union Intergovernmental Council meeting has been held in Kazan, at Prime Ministerial level of each of the member states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. The bloc occupies the geographic space between China and the EU and has a GDP of about US$5 trillion (PPP).

The meeting was presided over by Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich, who stated that an overall economic recovery was underway among members states. “The manufacturing output has increased by 9% in Belarus, 7.5% in Kazakhstan, 1% in Russia. In the current period of 2021 mutual trade between the EAEU member-states increased by 6.8%. It increased most significantly in Russia – by 9.7%, in Belarus – 3.9% and Armenia – 2.5%” Myasnikovich said.

Turkmenistan was an observer at the meeting, with a delegation of Turkmenistan businesses and politicians, headed by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan and Chairman of the Supreme Control Chamber of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

The Turkmen delegation said that the country has resources that are of interest for economic cooperation with partner countries.

Turkmenistan is developing its transport and logistics infrastructure, building a network of modern highways, bridges, and interchanges, and constructing the Turkmenbashi International Seaport, which has a capacity of up to 25 million tons of cargo turnover per year. Together with foreign investors, railway lines, fiber-optic communication and power transmission lines were put into operation to the south of the country, while facilities for fuel and lubricant production have also been built. The country, which has traditionally taken a conservative and neutral stance in joining regional trade and political blocs, may be about to change. The establishment of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) can contribute to the dynamic course of economic processes in Eurasia, according to subsequent reports from Turkmenistan’s State News Agency.

Turkmenistan has the world’s 4th largest gas reserves, a GDP of about US$120 billion, with a population of some 6 million earning about US$20,000 per annum per capita (PPP). The capital city is Ashgabat, with normal time regular flights to Moscow and Urumqi and other Central Asian capitals.

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